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Chapter 11: Wise, Not Otherwise

Shantideva, it is perfectly good that you take my answers to questions not asked by you very personally. That’s the right attitude. It doesn’t matter who has asked; what matters is that the question is also yours, lurking somewhere in your unconsciousness. Because the other has asked, it has surfaced. My answer is as much for you as for the man who has asked the question.

I am talking to you all almost as if you were one individuality. I am not answering questions for different people - because my understanding is that all questions are human, and those who are understanding enough will take as much out of the answer for themselves as they can without thinking whose question it was.

And it is easier, I repeat again, to understand the answer when it is not your question because you are relaxed. It has nothing to do with you, it is somebody else’s problem; you can listen more attentively, more totally. The person who has taken the trouble to ask the question cannot relax while I am answering.

You can feel it, Shantideva, right now. You will be tense, because I am not a reliable man. Sometimes I am good, sometimes I am not; sometimes I can be absolutely mad. If you can provoke me by your question, then I can behave just like a bull in a china shop.

The third question is also from Shantideva, so I am not going to answer it today. It is enough. We will take his question another time. Three questions in one morning session.he will get dengue fever!